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Tiny Invasives & Sooper Yooper

Tiny Invasives & Sooper Yooper

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Billy Cooper, the Sooper Yooper, swims after an invasive sea lamprey. (Illustration by Mark Heckman, courtesy of Thunder Bay Press)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 12/09/2010

Scientists are scrambling to keep up with teeny tiny invaders... bacteria and fungi.

A new study in the journal Ecology Letters finds there are more invasions by microbes... and very little is being done about them.

Elena Litchman is the author of the study.

She says there’s an invasive bacterium from the tropics that’s been spreading in lakes in Michigan. It can produce toxins and make people and animals sick.

“It could affect people who want to go swim in a local lake and that could be really unpleasant.”

Litchman says invasive bacteria and fungi are really hard to detect, so they just don’t get a lot of attention.

(music sting)

This is the Environment Report.

With 180 invasive species already in the Great Lakes... a superhero could come in handy.

There’s a new children’s book called Sooper Yooper: Undaunted Hero from the North Battles Alien Sea Creatures. It features Billy Cooper, an ex-Navy Seal who lives in the U.P. with his scuba-diving bulldog, Mighty Mac. In the book Cooper and Mighty Mac discover the Lakes are being invaded by blood-sucking sea lamprey and destructive zebra mussels.

The Michigan State University study on invasive microbes

More about Sooper Yooper


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